Facebook’s new app, Slingshot, has been introduced as a space where users “can share everyday moments with lots of people at once.”
Allowing users to ‘sling’ photos and videos spontaneously to friends, the instant camera app shares many features with the popularly used Snapchat.
However, there is one feature that sets it apart from other instant communication apps – users are required to reply others with their own photos prior to seeing the photos that have been sent to them.
Through this new instant camera system, users are therefore required to ‘unlock’ photos sent to them by responding with a photo of their own. Presented as an opportunity to “make everybody a creator and nobody… a spectator,” the feature pressures both senders and recipients to engage in the communication and capture their own moments.
Some have criticised the compulsory sharing feature, claiming that users will send back meaningless content just to unlock new shots. One reviewer, Hanna Becker, exclaimed: “in just a weekend of using Slingshot, I received far more images of blank walls and ceilings than duck faces and lunches.”
Users who made the switch from Snapchat may have to realise that they should only send photos that will be worthwhile for friends to unlock.
Like in Snapchat, users are able to write and draw on their pictures. Friends can easily be found through the phone’s contacts and Facebook, and the intuitive interface makes sending photos to multiple recipients easy.
Slingshot is currently available on the Playstore and the App Store for free.